At the 45th Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC) meeting
Venue: Seoul City Hall
Chair Eric Hoffman, Vice Chair Amy Jackson, Vice Chair Hwang Deok, and other members of the FIAC,
How are you? I am glad to see again. I feel deeply grateful to all of you for giving us your precious advice regarding Seoul’s growth and development from a global perspective.
At present, we are engaging in proactive marketing, and we are formulating diverse policies for the attraction of foreign businesses to Seoul. These activities are based on the advice you gave at the last FIAC meeting regarding attracting foreign investment in the Magok District.
In particular, we are pushing ahead with a project for the establishment of an R&D center that will accommodate foreign businesses. I sincerely hope that efforts like this will obtain positive results, helping Seoul enhance its standing as an attractive global city.
The subject to be discussed at today’s FIAC session is “How to Help Seoul Leap Forward as a Global Financial Hub.” The city is taking significant steps towards the development of the financial industry and the formation of a financial hub, including the establishment of the Korea Center for International Finance and the hosting of roadshows for attracting foreign financial businesses.
However, the overall situation is not favorable for the country’s financial industry. Foreign-based financial businesses are reducing their operations in the country or leaving the country, seeing the drop in profitability in the midst of low interest rates and governmental regulations.
Still, I think that we must do what we can to develop the financial industry as one of the eight leading growth engines for Seoul in preparation for an increase in the demand for asset operations amid the aging trends as well as to create jobs for future generations.
Seoul is a competitive financial hub in Asia. Z/ Yen’s GFCI of Seoul has consistently risen, and the city was ranked the world’s 8th in the second half of this year (for comparison, it ranked the world’s 53rd in the first half of 2009). The city boasts a business-friendly environment and strong financial competitiveness. I hope that today’s session will help global financial businesses recognize Seoul’s unique merits for financial operations, and will see it as a foothold for the expansion of their businesses in Asia.
It is my hope that Seoul will be able to maintain its bond with the FIAC as its precious business partner through exchanges and cooperation. I would like to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for taking the trouble to attend this session.